Teenager jailed for recording stabbing of man on Snapchat
Dublin Circuit Criminal

Teenager jailed for recording stabbing of man on Snapchat

A teenager who recorded his accomplice stabbing a man on Snapchat has received a five years sentence with two and a half year suspended for this and other offences.

Jason Finnegan (19) was with Mark Pidgeon (30) when they called to the flat of Kenneth Osbourne, who owed Finnegan €300 or €400.

Detective Garda Graham O’Neill told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that Finnegan recorded the incident and captured the initial conversation between all three before it shows Pidgeon lash in the direction of the victim with a large knife and stab him a number of times.

Finnegan can be heard “shouting words of encouragement” such as “lash him, lash him out of it” and calls Mr Osbourne “a rat”, Det Garda O’Neill told the court.

He said the recording lasted for about 90 seconds before both leave the scene after Finnegan “alludes to the fact that they are on camera”, the detective continued.

The victim was later treated for multiple stab wounds including injuries to his arm which required surgery.

The court heard during a separate hearing in June 2021 that Finnegan also admitted stabbing two men in the space of three months in Dublin’s inner city while he was a minor, and threatening to kill a woman. He was sentenced in relation to all offences on Friday, February 11, by Ms Justice Karen O’Connor.

Finnegan of Kilworth Road, Drimnagh, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal to assault causing harm to Mr Osbourne at Basin Street Flats on March 15, 2020.

In June 2021 Finnegan also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Eoin Duffy on Amiens Street on October 18, 2019, and to assault causing harm to Shane Carberry at the Basin Street flats in Dublin 8 on January 11, 2020.

He also pleaded guilty to threatening to kill Ms Shannon Kelly at the Basin Street flats in February 2020.

On Friday,  Ms Justice O’Connor said in relation to the offence against Mr Osbourne, the level of violence was an aggravating factor and the fact Finnegan had encouraged his co-accused to use a knife and placed the recording on social media was truly abhorrent.

The judge noted the effects on the victims of the other assaults, citing a medical report that made “difficult reading” and the “fear and terror” felt by the female victim.

She said it was not acceptable to be terrorising people and if Finnegan had been an adult he would have gone to prison without delay, but noted he had been a child in law at the time.

She said Finnegan had suffered a family tragedy and the case had been put back numerous times. She took into account evidence given as to efforts at rehabilitation, mental health and addiction issues.

Ms Justice O’Connor imposed a five year sentence and suspended the final two and half years on strict conditions. She said she was structuring the sentence to encourage him as much as she could but noted some of the matters had been committed while on bail.

During the sentence hearing Det Garda O’Neill said Mr Osbourne didn’t wish to make a victim impact statement and would not identify his attackers to gardai. He told gardai that he was attacked by two men and that he owed the younger man “a few bob”.

He said he was “terrified” and that “these guys tried to kill me and recorded the whole thing before putting it on social media”.

Det Garda O’Neill said the Snapchat recording and various CCTV footage from the area allowed them to identify Finnegan and Pidgeon.

He confirmed that Finnegan has no previous convictions and agreed with Mr Spencer that his client’s brother died in a tragic way in 2016.

Mr Spencer told Ms Justice O’Connor that his client was “a very troubled young man with emotional issues who has recently been acting out in a manner which is violent and explosive”.

Counsel said that Finnegan has recently been engaging with various agencies in his local community who have “carved out paths for him in an attempt to help him”.

John Behan from the Youth Justice team at the Solas Project, told the court that Finnegan has been engaging with their project for a number of months.

“The contact has been coming from him. You can see he is trying to get help for himself,” Mr Behan said.

Mr Spencer submitted that Finnegan has “gone from being a person with no support to a person being targeted by agencies. He seems to be moving in the right direction. The green shoots of rehabilitation and recovery are there.”

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